I have relentlessly laboured the point to anyone that will listen that the digital age of publishing has brought departments within publishing houses closer together. The main reason is to work cohesively as a streamlined unit towards a prosperous digital future. The reality is that nobody really knows what they’re doing and want to share as much information with as many like minded people as possible. This amalgamation of ideas, arguments, stories, theories, postulations and general fantasies is producing some of the most interesting conversations you will ever hear about publishing. The fact of the matter is you have to be there to listen to them.
There are of course many benefits to joining online social circles. Take a stroll through the grand electric halls of Twitter and Linkedin. Therein you will be granted access to such a plethora of information you won’t know which end of the publishing industry you are looking at.
As a general rule we make use of twitter, linkedin and facebook to advertise all of our jobs at Atwood Tate. Using any or all of these sites effectively can yield excellent results when searching for jobs or researching the industry in general. For example if you are attending an interview it’s a good idea to find the company on Twitter and glance over their tweets. You can get an idea of how a company chooses to represent itself online, who their intended markets are and if they have any new online or print products in the pipeline. It’s a great research tool and can give you instant information on the company you want to work for.
Linkedin is also a valuable, professional resource which connects you to the professional world of publishing. Not only can you research who you would be interviewed by at a company you can also join discussion groups, look for jobs or find potential contacts within professional circles. It’s an invaluable tool for showcasing your professional achievements.
Additionally the benefits of human to human social networking must never be forgotten. The act itself can open doors for you. It is the perfect chance for you to raise your head above the crowd, an opportunity to be recognised as an individual. By simply getting out there and meeting like minded people not only will your self confidence and self esteem get a boost you may also achieve the following;
– Find a new job
– Raise your personal profile (publishing is a small world to work in)
– Scout for competition (nicely of course)
– Discover a new business opportunity
– Learn more about a sector of the industry via a publishing guru
– Make some potentially important contacts
– Make some potentially important friends
My fear is that, as we hurtle blindingly into this new age of technology, we are losing our social abilities. I have followed many a prestigious, fire branded tweeter who writes witty and industry smashing prose. Yet when it comes to meeting them it can be a disappointment to see a subtle lack of social skills. The status of anonymity can invoke promise in many keyboard warriors but if they can’t back it up in person their credibility is lost immediately.
So in essence networking is key. Your people skills have to be sharp especially in today’s rapidly changing, fast moving market. Many perceive a direct correlation between networking activity and success in your career. But it has to be done right. And, to use a tired cliché, the more you put in the more you will achieve. The information you can pick up in an evening’s worth of casual chat can take you in directions you never thought possible. Try it. You will be surprised at how much you can get out of it.